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Erik Feld: Homophobic man obsessed with extreme violence found guilty of murdering victim with hammer in cemetery | UK News

A homophobic man has been found guilty of murdering a man in a cemetery after hitting him 12 times in the face and head with a claw hammer.

Erik Feld, who had an obsession with extreme violence, hid behind a monument in east London in the early hours of 16 August 2021 before causing “catastrophic” injuries to Ranjith Kankanamalage, who was unarmed.

The 50-year-old victim was found by a member of the public on a path in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park later that day.

During his trial, the defendant made a homophobic rant about the victim who has a family in Sri Lanka and was in a relationship in the UK.

Feld had “dark places in his soul” that were “not in the darkest recesses but very near the surface”, prosecutor Paul Cavin KC told jurors.

“The extraordinary homophobic outburst is obviously something you will not forget,” he said.

Jurors were told Mr Kankanamalage was a regular visitor to the “spooky” cemetery, which was known as a “cruising” hotspot.

Feld’s legal team claimed he hit out in self-defence after the victim allegedly made a pass at him.

His lawyer, Isabella Forshall KC, told the Old Bailey: “Mr Feld has got himself in a creepy place, he’s got himself lost. It’s dead of night.”

She said the defendant did not strike Mr Kankanamalage because he was a “homophobe” but because he “got the wrong end of the stick”.

Feld said when he saw the victim, he became worried he was going to be attacked and hit him in the back of the head with the hammer.

He claimed he swung out with the object several more times after he was pinned down on the ground.

However, prosecutor Mr Cavin dismissed Feld’s version of events as “inherently unlikely”, pointing out just one strike with the hammer would have incapacitated the victim.

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk undisputed title fight is now off | UK News

The Tyson Fury versus Oleksandr Usyk fight is now off.

Talks to make the undisputed heavyweight title fight happen have failed to reach a conclusion, Usyk’s promoter Alexander Krassyuk confirmed to Sky Sports News.

Usyk will now look to make a defence of his heavyweight titles against WBA mandatory challenger Daniel Dubois.

“I will try to express how disappointed I am, not just for Usyk, not just for this fight not happening but for all boxing fans around the world. Because this is probably the most anticipated fight, the most awaited fight, the most wanted one, not just from the fans but from our side as well,” Krassyuk told Sky Sports.

“I would love to see this fight. I would love to make it happen as the promoter. Usyk would love to be part of such a huge fight, we all are willing, we are thirsty to make it happen. Of course we are going to use each and every effort, if there is any. But from my perspective I don’t believe it’s possible.”

Egis Klimas, Usyk’s manager, has questioned whether Fury and his team genuinely wanted the fight in April.

“The Usyk side pulled out of further negotiations as the Fury side never had enough [and wanted] to pull everything and all rights to their side,” Klimas told Sky Sports.

“I don’t want to go into details as all negotiations were confidential but I will tell you one thing, when a fighter doesn’t want to fight he overprices himself knowing that the fight won’t happen.

“They most likely forgot that Usyk is holding the majority of belts in the heavyweight division and Tyson just has one.

“They claimed Tyson is a face and must have all the rights, but look at statistics on pay-per-view with Tyson v Chisora and Usyk v Chisora and then tell me who is who?”

Sky Sports has approached Fury’s UK and US promoters for comment.

British boxer Tyson Furycelebrates in the ring after his victory over Ukraine's Vladimir Klitschko (not pictured) after their world heavyweight title bout at the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, Germany, 28 November 2015.
British boxer Tyson Fury celebrates in the ring after his victory over Vladimir Klitschko in 2015

Frank Warren, Fury’s UK promoter, has told TalkSports radio that he believes the negotiations can be salvaged.

But Krassyuk responded that the issue around a rematch clause was just the final straw for those talks to collapse.

“They did as much as we did. They tried hard. We all tried to make it happen,” Krassyuk told Sky Sports “[The] rematch clause was just the point where it all exploded.

“The discussion about the rematch split was just the point where Usyk was fed up with everything. He said, ‘How many more times do I have to bow my head in front of Tyson. Why should I do this? It’s enough. Either he accepts what I say or I leave’. Tyson did not accept it and he left.”

Krassyuk did say a one-fight deal could still be “acceptable, but the split should not be 70/30.”

Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk takes part in a public workout in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022
Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk

The undisputed championship, he insisted, was their “highest priority”.

“The money that was anticipated for Usyk in this fight was not even close to what Usyk earned in his last fight. It’s definitely not Usyk’s payday and it’s definitely not his attempt to get more money. It’s his attempt to get the WBC belt,” Krassyuk said.

“We will do our best to deliver this fight to the fans,” he added. “With Usyk, we’ve been together since 2013. We went through hell, through fire, through water, through everything. We never had any troubles with our opponents, we were always flexible.”

The Fury v Usyk fight would have been one of the most significant contests in world boxing.

Between them, they hold all four of the major heavyweight world titles.

Fury, who first became a unified world champion when he sensationally defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, never lost those titles in the ring but they became vacant when he did not box for more than two years.

Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko, left, and Britain's Tyson Fury exchange blows in a world heavyweight title fight for Klitschko's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf, western Germany, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Sebastian Konopka)
Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko (L) , and Tyson Fury exchange blows in 2015

He made a remarkable return in 2018 and controversially drew with Deontay Wilder that year. Fury then beat Wilder in the rematch to win the WBC title and triumphed again in a sensational 2021 trilogy fight.

Undefeated he has held the WBC belt ever since and last year Fury headlined two stadium fights in London, stopping both Dillian Whyte and Derek Chisora to defend his title.

Usyk, a former undisputed cruiserweight champion, has established himself as Fury’s closest rival at the top of the heavyweight division.

He stepped up to heavyweight and in 2021 dethroned Anthony Joshua to win the IBF, WBO and WBA titles.

The Ukrainian defended those belts with another emphatic win over Joshua last August.

Britain's Anthony Joshua (L) lands with a body shot against Ukraine's Oleksandr Usyk during their world heavyweight title fight in 2022.
Britain’s Anthony Joshua (L) lands with a body shot against Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk during their world heavyweight title fight in 2022

Read more on Sky News:
Who is Oleksandr Usyk?

Anthony Joshua: ‘I let myself down’ after Usyk defeat

Usyk has become a renowned global figure, returning to his Ukrainian homeland when Russia invaded in February of last year and continuing to represent his country on a global stage when he resumed his boxing career.

After Fury beat Chisora in his last fight, he faced off with Usyk in the ring and their teams conducted intensive negotiations for a protracted period.

Publicly Fury demanded Usyk agree to a 70/30 split, which the Ukrainian did accept as long as Fury consented to make a sizeable donation to the Ukrainian relief effort.

But the two parties were unable to conclude negotiations and Usyk’s promoter confirmed on Wednesday that talks had finally collapsed.

Dubois next for Uysk?

Britain’s Dubois is well-placed to challenge Usyk next, as long as he has recovered from the injury he sustained when he beat Kevin Lerena in his last fight.

Dubois is the mandatory challenger for the WBA title that Usyk holds and the WBA has already stated Usyk must begin negotiations for a defence against Dubois if he cannot show signed contracts for the Fury fight by 1 April.

Dubois is also represented by Warren, like Fury, so talks between the promoter and Usyk’s team will continue.

“We’re going to be having discussions anyway because if it comes to the mandatory Daniel Dubois, he’s with Frank as well,” Krassyuk said. “I treat Frank with big respect.

“We will have to comply with our obligations [for] the mandatories, probably. It’s very early to speak about that.”

No fighter has been considered the undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis 20 years ago. Fury v Usyk would have crowned one finally. But the wait, for the fight the boxing world was longing to see, is set to continue.

Man accused of filming castrations for ‘eunuch maker’ website appears in London court | UK News

A man has appeared in court accused of carrying out and broadcasting castrations on his “eunuch maker” website.

Marius Theodore Gustavson, 45, is one of a group of men arrested on Wednesday in London, Scotland and South Wales.

Nine people now face charges after penises and testicles were allegedly removed and the procedures filmed for paying subscribers.

Gustavson, 45 and originally from Norway but living in London, is accused of being the ringleader.

As well as five counts of GBH with intent, he’s also charged with making and distributing an indecent image of a child and possessing criminal property.

Westminster Magistrates Court was told Gustavson, who appeared in a wheelchair alongside other defendants, has had his own penis, leg and nipple removed.

Met Police said the charges relate to 13 victims, with the crimes said to have taken place between 2016 and 2022 and earning £200,000.

The accused men are said to have been part of a subculture in which people willingly undergo extreme body modifications, such as becoming “nullos” – short for genital nullification.

None have yet entered any plea and they have been bailed to appear at the Old Bailey in April.

Those charged with conspiring to commit GBH are: Ion Ciucur, 28, of Gretna; Peter Wates, 65, of Purley; and David Carruthers, 60, Janus Atkin, 37, and Ashley Williams, 31 – all from Newport, Gwent.

Damien Byrnes, 35, of Haringey; Nathaniel Arnold, 47, of Kensington and Chelsea; and Jacob Crimi-Appleby, 22, of Epsom were all charged with one count of GBH.

Qatari businessman submits new bid for Manchester United | UK News

Qatar’s Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad has submitted a new improved bid for Manchester United ahead of the deadline for second bids, Sky News understands.

The Sheikh, chairman of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), made a second bid for Manchester United after his representatives visited the Premier League club last week.

But Sky News understands that as many as seven other bids could be made before today’s deadline for second offers.

The current owners, the Glazer family, are selling the club but will only do so for the right price. It is believed the family have valued the club at £6bn.

British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, through his chemical firm INEOS, is also expected to make a second offer for the club after visiting last week.

Oasis fans think reunion may be on cards after Noel Gallagher’s latest comments | Ents & Arts News

Noel Gallagher says his brother Liam should “get his people to call my people” about an Oasis reunion.

Noel made the comments in an interview with radio station France Inter, days after Liam sparked fresh hope that a reunion may be on the cards by telling a fan on Twitter that “it’s happening”.

Speaking to the French media outlet, Noel said there’s “something in the papers back in England today”.

“He should get his people to call my people. They know who they are, they know where we are, stop talking on the f****** internet, let’s see what you’ve gotta say,” he says.

The interviewer then asks if it’s “just a question of a phone call?”

“You would think, right? You would think. He’s got my number, he’s got my manager’s number, call us.”

Noel then adds: “But you know what? He won’t call.”

Asked why, Noel responds: “Why indeed. Why indeed.”

The group disbanded in 2009, with Gallagher quitting following a confrontation with his younger brother Liam at the Rock en Seine festival near Paris.

Following Noel’s interview, Liam tweeted saying: “Here’s how I see it the little fella aka potato has done a lot of damage to Oasis as a band / brand he’s got a lot of making up to do not just to me but to you the fans the people that put us where we are tday as you were LG x.”

The age-old debate about an Oasis reunion still gets fans excited. Even the slightest hint that it may actually happen can restart hopeful rumours.

Noel Gallagher and Sara Macdonald announce divorce. Pic: AP
Noel Gallagher and Sara Macdonald announced their divorce earlier this year. Pic: AP

Fans have long believed that Noel’s estranged wife was at the heart of his dispute with his brother – and his changing tone since their divorce this year suggests there could be something in that.

The Mancunian brothers have been infamously embroiled in an intense sibling rivalry ever since Oasis went their separate ways.

Liam has often been publicly in favour of a reunion, with Noel usually the more reluctant of the two.

However, the older Gallagher has previously joked he would reunite the band for £100m.

While Liam has focused on a solo career, Noel started a new band, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Both have performed at Glastonbury Festival in recent years – a setting often touted by fans as the perfect place for a surprise Oasis reunion.

Of course, fans have reacted…

Here are a few of the best tweets from people who are now desperate for Liam to pick up the phone:

‘Please give the fans what they want LG’


‘Blood is thicker than water Liam x’

‘The things I would do to get a ticket to an Oasis reunion can not be said on here.’

Top aide questioned Boris Johnson’s plan to say ‘all COVID guidance was followed’ over partygate | Politics News

A senior civil servant questioned whether Boris Johnson should say COVID guidance had been followed at all times in Downing Street, according to new evidence published by MPs investigating whether he lied over partygate.

In written evidence from Martin Reynolds, the former principal private secretary, he said he questioned whether it was “realistic” to make this claim, given the nature of the working environment in No 10.

He said he asked Mr Johnson about the line proposed for PMQs on 7 December, adding: “He did not welcome the interruption but told me that he had received reassurances that the comms event was within the rules. I accepted this but questioned whether it was realistic to argue that all guidance had been followed at all times, given the nature of the working environment in No 10.”

Mr Reynolds said he agreed to delete the reference to guidance.

The evidence has been published ahead of Mr Johnson being questioned by the privileges committee this afternoon on whether he misled parliament over partygate denials.


Ahead of its publication, a source close to the former prime minister said his team believe the new documents are generally helpful to them.

But they have criticised the fact that not all of the evidence Mr Johnson wanted published has gone into the bundle.

All seven committee members, led by Labour veteran Harriet Harman but with a Tory majority, will use Mr Johnson’s appearance to determine if he deliberately misled the Commons when he told MPs no COVID rules or guidance had been broken.

On the eve of his appearance, the former prime minister repeated his denial that he had not done anything wrong and said he was looking forward to the hearing.

Government’s migrant plan could cost £9bn in first three years, refugee charity claims | UK News

The cost of the government’s plan to clamp down on Channel migrant crossings could amount to more than £9billion in the first three years, according to a refugee charity.

The estimates, from the Refugee Council, are based on up to 250,000 people having their asylum claims deemed inadmissible in the first three years under the Illegal Migration Bill.

The charity, which has publicly opposed the legislation, also estimates 10,000 people per year being sent to Rwanda.

“In total, between £8.7 billion and £9.6 billion will have been spent on detaining and accommodating people impacted by the Bill in the first three years of its operation,” the charity said.

However, the government says it “does not recognise” the figures used in the Refugee Council’s report.

The Home Office also says the current asylum system costs £3billion a year, including around £6million a day on hotel accommodation.

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‘We are being forced’ into Rwanda plan

The Refugee Council’s policy experts came up with the estimates as part of an impact assessment of the consequences of the first three years of the Illegal Migration Bill.

“In the first three years of the legislation coming into effect, between 225,347 and 257,101 people will have their asylum claims deemed inadmissible. This includes between 39,500 and 45,066 children,” it said in its assessment.

“At the end of the third year, between 161,147 and 192,670 people will have had their asylum claims deemed inadmissible but not have been removed.

“They will be unable to have their asylum claims processed, unable to work and will be reliant on Home Office support and accommodation indefinitely.”

‘We do not recognise these figures’

The charity estimates the Home Office being able to remove 10,000 people to Rwanda in each of the three years, detaining people for an average of 28 days and accommodating those who are not detained.

The charity said it used available data and some assumptions to come up with the cost figure.

Among the assumptions are that 88% of people who cross the Channel in a small boat each year will subsequently apply for asylum and it costs £120.42 to detain someone each day.

However, it said its cost estimates are likely to still be conservative “based on our experience at the Refugee Council of working with people who arrive in the UK”.

Responding to the Refugee Council’s analysis, a Home Office spokesman said: “We do not recognise the figures used in this report.

“The aim of the Illegal Migration Bill is to act as a deterrent and significantly reduce illegal migration when it comes into force.”

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Why do migrants cross the Channel?

The Home Office currently has a backlog of more than 160,000 immigration cases and only a small number of countries available to which the government can send failed asylum seekers.

The Illegal Migration Bill grants the government the power to deny asylum applications from those who have entered the UK illegally, most notably by arriving in small boats.

The home secretary’s outline of the bill states that if you arrive illegally in the UK “you will be detained with no recourse to immigration bail or judicial review within the first 28 days”.

It adds: “We can maintain detention thereafter so long as we have a reasonable prospect of removal.”

Read more:
Asylum seekers are going ‘underground’ in fear of being deported to Rwanda
Is the government’s new Illegal Migration Bill legal?

People in immigration detention in the UK are housed at immigration removal centres, residential short-term holding facilities or holding rooms at ports and airports.

The government also routinely houses refugees in hotels and hostels but the prime minister said in December this will stop and “disused holiday parks, surplus military sites and university halls” will be used instead.

Rwanda flights ‘by the summer’

It comes after a government source told Sky News that it hoped to start getting deportation flights to Rwanda “by the summer”.

The home secretary signed an update to the government’s migrants agreement with the central African country last weekend, expanding its scope to “all categories of people who pass through safe countries and make illegal and dangerous journeys to the UK”.

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A Home Office statement said it would allow the government to deliver on its new Illegal Migration Bill as it would mean those coming to the UK illegally, who “cannot be returned to their home country”, will be “in scope to be relocated to Rwanda”.

No one has made the journey yet.

A flight was stopped at the eleventh hour in June last year after an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

Earlier this month, the prime minister announced a package that will see a new detention centre established in France as well as the deployment of more French personnel and enhanced technology to patrol beaches in a shared effort to drive down illegal migration.

Throughout 2022, some 45,728 people crossed to the UK via the Channel – up 60% on the previous year.

New police misogyny claims: Serving Humberside officer says problem at her force is a ‘monster’ | UK News

“For a while, seeing a police officer in uniform, I’d have flashbacks,” says “Sally”, who is herself a serving police officer, left traumatised by sexual abuse from a fellow officer.

Sally, not her real name, works for Humberside Police and her testimony perhaps indicates the need for a Louise Casey-style review in every force.

She is one of two women we’ve spoken to from the area covered by Humberside Police who reveal problems with misogyny within the local constabulary; a problem which she describes as “a monster.”

The other woman, a victim we are calling Anna, says police records show they in part blamed her “lifestyle choices” and “attention seeking” after she reported being groomed and raped.

This comes after the Casey review found that the Met police was institutionally sexist, racist and homophobic, and said women were being failed because of a misogynistic culture.

Serving officer Sally says this is true too in Humberside. She claims any young female recruit is considered “fresh meat” and senior female officers have their achievements undermined by mutterings that they’ve “slept their way to the top”.

She says she was seduced by a senior officer and found herself in a controlling, sexually violent relationship.

Humberside Police was rated outstanding by the police inspectorate, but Sally says when it became known she’d reported a fellow officer her colleagues rallied around him.

“I was ostracised, given the cold shoulder. It was like passive-aggressive behaviour,” she says.

“So, I’d be stared at, or given dirty looks. They were like schoolyard bullies. I’d come down the stairs and they’d be all sat together, just look up and stare at me.”

She adds: “After the misconduct hearing, so after he lost his job, I lost count of the amount of officers that came up to me and said – ‘oh he’s always been like that.'”

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How have the Met failed women?

“I thought well why have they not said anything then? He had basically the same nicknames as those monsters in the Met.”

She is referring to Met officer Wayne Couzens who was nicknamed “the rapist” by colleagues before he abducted, raped and murdered Sarah Everard. Serial rapist David Carrick was in the same unit.

The Casey report found the Metropolitan Police force badly failed women and questions are now being asked whether the rot spreads beyond London. Sally believes it does.

She says several colleagues in Humberside knew that one predatory officer would sift through victims’ statements to find women he could ask out.

Wayne Couzens
Wayne Couzens

‘I was really vulnerable’

Sky News has found evidence of bad attitudes being applied to investigations in Humberside.

Anna, not her real name, alleges that as a teenager she was being raped by a gang of men, who intimidated her into repeatedly going back to them.

After her investigation was closed, she used what’s called a Subject Access Request (SAR) to gain police records on herself. She found the following types of comments made by officers:

“The female herself is making lifestyle choices of her own.”

“This victim doesn’t come across as the best type of witness/victim that I have seen.”

“She finds herself in a position where it could be suggested she is allowing sexual tension to rise.”

Read more:
Metropolitan Police is ‘institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic’, review finds

Policewoman ‘repeatedly raped’ by colleague: Key findings of report

Now in her 20’s, Anna says: “That whole time I was still under social services I was really vulnerable.

“I was on a protection plan. It said how I was getting strangled. I was being sexually assaulted I was high risk but they never did anything to stop that.

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“If you read those records, they’re saying ‘we’ve got an unreliable witness, not the perfect victim. She wouldn’t stand a chance in court.’

“There’s no wonder the case was never brought to court because before it’s even got there, they’ve completely undermined it.”

In one extract they seem to accept the alleged attacker’s story over Anna’s, even after she has been injured.

The SAR reads: “The victim states that she has received injuries, and these have been seen by police officers.

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‘Challenge for police nationally’

Read: Six of the worst scandals the force has faced in recent years

“The issue that we have is that the suspect admits to causing these injuries to the victim but states that these were with consent as the victim ‘liked it’.

“It is difficult for us to disprove this, and I would suggest the victim is too undermined in this investigation to take her word above that of the suspect.”

Anna says it is “disgusting” to suggest that she would enjoy being injured.

‘Misogynistic behaviour will not be tolerated’

Louise Casey, whose findings have rocked London’s police force, has told Sky News there should be versions of her study done in every other police force.

She says: “I think we need a wholesale change of public protection particularly for women I think we all say violence against girls and women is a priority, then you see what is actually happening on the ground in relation to that and I don’t think it’s good enough.

“It rings hollow to me, and I think it rings hollow nationally.”

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Still ‘toxic individuals’ in Met

Humberside Police Deputy Chief Constable Paul Anderson says in response: “Misogynistic behaviour will not be tolerated. There is an existing robust process in place to put an end to any type of misogyny in our Force.

“Anyone who exhibits any form of misogynistic or discriminatory behaviour will be held accountable for their actions.

“We are internally communicating with all officers and staff in regards to sexual harassment and have launched our ‘knowing the line’ campaign to raise awareness and to fully encourage reports, whether personal or witnessed, to be made to our Professional Standards Department.

“Whilst Baroness Casey’s report into the culture at the Metropolitan Police makes for some incredibly hard reading, we welcome the findings and see it as a step forward in rebuilding public trust and confidence in policing nationally.”

‘The problem is now a monster’

With regard to “Anna”, DCC Anderson adds: “Child sexual abuse and exploitation is a deplorable and condemnable crime and we are determined to bring offenders to justice and hold them accountable for their actions.”

Anna’s investigation was reopened last year and for that reason, the force adds: “As the investigation is active, it is imperative we protect its integrity; as such are unable to comment on aspects of the investigation as this could impact or jeopardise any criminal or judicial proceedings.”

Sally says she’s still proud to be a police officer, but she’s speaking out because she wants her colleagues to make the changes from within.

She says: “They’ve been battening it down that much its now snowballed into a massive thing. It’s now a monster.”

The Casey review suggests that the monster needs to be exposed and acknowledged before it can be properly tackled.

Have you got a story to tell about your experience with the police? Email

City of Edinburgh Council pays out more than £100,000 in legal fees in failed sex club fight | UK News

Council taxpayers in Edinburgh have had to fork out more than £100,000 to pay the legal fees in the local authority’s failed bid to ban strip clubs.

Lawyers representing strippers and the clubs they work in faced down an attempt by the City of Edinburgh Council to set the number of sexual entertainment venues at zero – part of a nil-cap policy which would have effectively banned them – when they launched a judicial review against the policy.

The council revealed it had so far paid £117,011 in legal fees for the review, which saw Lord Richardson rule that the policy was unlawful after a two-day hearing at the Court of Session.

The figures, which were unveiled using freedom of information powers, also showed that six members of council staff had been involved in the judicial review.

Read more:
Sex workers fight council strip club ban in Edinburgh
Dancers say ban on strip clubs will financially devastate them

In addition, the council said the amount to be paid by the authority to the opposing side had not yet been confirmed.

The battle to keep Edinburgh’s four strip clubs open was launched in March 2022 when the city council’s regulatory committee voted to set the appropriate level of sexual entertainment venues in the capital at zero.

Strippers told councillors at the meeting about their fears if it had been passed, and how they felt it would push women into prostitution, but was approved in a five to four vote.

During the judicial review, the council had argued the nil-cap policy did not ban the clubs but set a level it deemed appropriate, and allowed a rebuttable presumption.

But Lord Richardson said the council would just look at the number of sexual entertainment venues in the area and then at the number it deemed appropriate, which was set at zero.

“In the event that the first number is equal to or greater than the second number, then the ground will apply and, as a consequence, the local authority must refuse the application,” he said in his ruling earlier this year.

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Lord Richardson said the council did not put forward “a good reason why the erroneous decision should not be quashed”, and added that the regulatory committee was “clearly advised that making a nil determination would only create a rebuttable presumption which could ultimately result in closure of existing premises”.

He went on to rule: “I do consider that there is a realistic possibility that, properly advised, a different decision may have been taken.

“It seems to me that, were I to decide otherwise, I would be trespassing on the decision-making which had been entrusted [to the council].”

A City of Edinburgh Council spokesperson said: “It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on legal action.

“A report will go to the regulatory committee in May outlining a 12-week consultation plan regarding a review of the sexual entertainment venues policy.

“Following the consultation the responses will be collated and considered by councillors with the new licensing scheme set to be implemented by 31 December 2023.”

Still ‘toxic individuals’ in Met Police, ’embarrassed’ commissioner says | UK News

The head of the Metropolitan Police says there are still “toxic individuals” in the force and he feels “embarrassed” by a scathing review that found it is institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic.

Sir Mark Rowley described the review by Baroness Louise Casey as “very, very worrying”.

While fully accepting “the diagnosis” of the findings, Sir Mark would not use the term “institutionally racist” to describe the force.

Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday, he told Kay Burley: “We have a real problem here. We have misogyny, homophobia and racism in the organisation.

“We’re absolutely determined to deliver the transformation required.”

He added: “We’re removing officers more quickly. We’re tackling these issues. And meanwhile, day in and day out, I’ve got the officers of the force who are coming forward and they are absolutely determined to tackle this – the vast majority.

“I was embarrassed and angered by this… and we want to make a difference.”

Sir Mark said the recommendations from Baroness Casey “will massively influence thinking and the plans we have ahead to reform the policing in London as we strengthen our work in neighbourhoods, as we improve the response to victims and as we tackle the toxic individuals in the organisation“.

He admitted that “maybe” the Met has got “toxic individuals” of whom the force has “concerns about their predatory behaviour”.

“We’ve got people suspended. We’ve got people under investigation,” he said.

He said he will give a full update on the work to reform the Met by the end of the month.

Met Police needs ‘complete overhaul’

Baroness Louise Casey, who spent a year investigating the Met Police in the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard by Couzens, concluded in her review that Britain’s largest force needs a “complete overhaul” and may need to be broken up.

Her 363-page report also found evidence of widespread bullying, racist attitudes and “deep-seated homophobia” in the force.

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Met Police receives damning report

Read more:
Met Police is ‘institutionally racist, sexist and homophobic’, review finds
Met Police commissioner says ‘we’ve let Londoners down’ after damning review
Met Police officer ‘repeatedly raped’ by colleague: Key findings of review

In response, prime minister Rishi Sunak said work was already happening in police forces to regain people’s trust.

Rishi Sunak told BBC Breakfast on Tuesday that the Police Commissioner is “committed to doing that”, adding “there are already some changes underway at the moment”.

He said: “It’s not just in London, across the country we’ve changed the guidance for police forces, for how they vet new police officers.

“Currently in the process of all police forces are checking all their police officers again against the police database, and they’re all being inspected by the independent inspector of police forces to make sure that that’s all happening.”

Baroness Louise Casey carried out the review
Baroness Louise Casey carried out the review

Further unacceptable cases ‘will come to light’

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he accepts “full responsibility” for the review’s findings as the boss of the police service.

He told Sky News’s Kay Burley that Met’s Commissioner Sir Mark has his “confidence” and that he had lost confidence in the former Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick.

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Sadiq Khan: “I accept full responsibility”

Mr Khan said what Baroness Casey is demanding is a “complete overhaul” of the Met Police.

On Sir Mark not accepting the full findings of the report in his interview with Burley, Mr Khan said: “I fully accept the report. I think the police service is usually racist, it’s usually homophobic, it’s usually misogynistic, and that’s sort of the complete overhaul. So the commissioner should look, again at accepting that.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said in a statement shared on Twitter that she is “confident that under Sir Mark’s leadership, progress is being made to reform standards and deliver common sense policing for all Londoners”.

However, she admitted there is “much more to do and the task of rooting out unfit officers means that further unacceptable cases will come to light”.

Meanwhile, Cabinet minister Mark Harper told Sky News on Tuesday that Baroness Casey’s review into the Metropolitan Police is “a very shocking and troubling report”.

He added that “Londoners have quite understandably lost a lot of confidence because of all of the terrible events that have taken place”.

“So the Commissioner has a very large job of work to do,” he said.

Review is a ‘wake-up call’

Shadow policing minister Sarah Jones told Sky News that Baroness Casey has “left no stone unturned” and that the Met Police “cannot police itself”.

She said it is a “wake-up call for us all”.

Ms Jones said Sir Mark needs to accept the full findings of the report and “fundamentally really change the cultures and the structures within the Met”.

“There are an array of recommendations that go to the very heart of what policing is about,” she said.

“I think fundamentally what Louise is saying is that policing attracts the best of humanity, but it will also attract predators and people who do harm.

“And in the same way that we have changed systems in education or in medicine, we need to do the same in policing.

“We need to make sure there aren’t predatory people allowed to exist in the Met and to continue, operate and be Metropolitan Police officers.”

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Community needs to be put back ‘at heart of policing’

Also reacting to the review was Nusrit Mehtab, former Scotland Yard superintendent, who described Baroness Casey’s report as “damning”, adding she has “held a mirror into the workforce”.

“And what you see is that they’re institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic. And it’s a police service that has lost its way. It is shocking and devastating for the people of London.”

She added that if the head of the Metropolitan Police Service will not accept the review’s recommendations, then an “independent body should be brought in to dismantle” the force.

“It’s a big beast and they do specialisms very well, in terms of putting investing money in the frontline policing, but neighbourhood policing has been neglected. So those are the things that they really do need to invest in and specialisms need to be hived off,” Ms Mehtab said.

“Police should just be focusing on local policing, neighbourhood policing, and they need to put community back at the heart of policing.”